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Hives - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

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Summary about Hives

Hives, also called urticaria, are skin blisters that are itchy and swelled. They are typically red, pink, or flesh-colored, and they can sting or hurt. Hives are caused mainly by an allergic reaction to a drug or food or by a reaction to an environmental irritant. They develop when the body reacts to an allergen by releasing histamine and other substances beneath the skin's surface, resulting in rashes.

The urdu meaning of Hives is "Jild par phoncian".

Symptoms of Hives

The most typical symptoms are:

  • Pinkish or reddish swellings that are slightly raised. Might occur on the same spot, or on different areas of their body
  • Welts that might appear alone or might appear in a cluster. They could also connect together to form a much larger welt
  • Swollen skin that disappears in less than 24 hours in one area. The swelling might show up at another area of the skin
  • Itching on the swollen area
  • Swollen patches that might hurt or sting as well

Causes of Hives

Allergic hives appear when the smaller blood vessels leak blood plasma into the skin when they encounter histamine. Allergic reactions to things like food chemicals, insect bites, exposure to sun or to certain drugs cause the histamine release from the specialized cells situated near the skin’s blood vessels. Finding out the cause is often nearly impossible.

There is one other cause of hives, or simply one factor that might worsen the symptoms: stress. Research has linked low family support, sleeplessness and stress to hives. Scientists have tried to explain this phenomenon by saying that stress can lead to inefficient functionality of the body. According to them, the body might have an inflammatory reaction to the physiological changes caused by stress.

Hives are caused mainly by an allergic reaction to something you have come into contact with or consumed. The common triggers of hives include:

  • Eating certain foods
  • contact with some types of plants, animals, chemicals, and latex
  • cold water or weather
  • hot or sweaty skin
  • as a reaction to a medicine or an insect bite
  • Wearing itchy or tight clothing
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Water or sunlight

Treatment

The treatment options for hives disease include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine
  • Steroid tablets
  • Injection of epinephrine
  • Creams or ointments

Risk Factors of Hives

One factor that places individuals at risk includes their susceptibility to allergies. Those who are on medication are also at a higher risk for the progression of hives along with those who are exposed to chemicals that they are allergic to, without them even knowing it. These things might be included in food or pollen. If the person is already infected or has a medical issue, their susceptibility to develop hives is elevated as well.

Preventive Measures of Hives

You can take the following measure to prevent the development of hives:

  • Stay away from things you know can trigger hives, including those mentioned above
  • Have good hygiene and do not wear tight clothes
  • Avoid foods and medicines that may cause a reaction

Types of Hives

The following are the two types of hives (or urticarial):

  • Acute urticaria. The most recurrent type of urticarial is acute. The symptoms do not carry on after 6 weeks. They generally affect any of the body parts like the face, neck, fingers and toes, and the genitalia, as well, in males.
  • Chronic urticarial. This type of hives carries on for more than 6 weeks. However, its rate of incidence is far lower than acute urticarial. About 0.1% of the population is estimated to develop symptoms of this type.